IOM Supports 5th Annual South African Human Trafficking Awareness Week

Posted: 
10/04/10

IOM will celebrate South Africa's 5th Annual Human Trafficking
Awareness Week (HTAW) this week in collaboration with the country's
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Department of Home Affairs
(DHA), Department of Education (DOE), other key government partners
and civil society organizations.

This year's theme, "Human Trafficking is Real", is designed to
focus public attention on human trafficking as a crime with the aim
of making people aware of the realities of human trafficking. The
theme was conceptualized by the NPA which is spearheading
government efforts this year.

Activities being undertaken by the South African government
during HTAW include: distribution of posters bearing a
counter-trafficking helpline number in toilet cubicles at Ports of
Entry; dissemination by the Department of Home Affairs of counter
trafficking flyers to commuters at roadside traffic controls as
well as at taxi stands; and deployment by the Department of Social
Development of approximately 50 auxiliary social workers in
Johannesburg to speak to communities about human trafficking.

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Additional civil society organizations are promoting the
campaign through electronic media and distribution of informational
material in key locations such as at schools and shopping markets.
IOM is providing outreach materials for distribution by NGO and
governmental counterparts as well as engaging the media to
highlight the campaign.

"It is only through sustained partnerships and common messaging
that a real impact can be made in alerting the public to the harm
trafficking causes and reaching out to those in trafficking
situations," notes IOM Regional Representative for Southern Africa,
Bernardo Mariano.

Through initiatives such as the HTAW, the government along with
organizational partners is sending a message that South Africa is
serious about providing protection to victims of trafficking and
addressing the crime comprehensively and consistently.

"The number of governmental and civil society entities involved
in this year's Human Trafficking Awareness Week bears testimony to
this common resolve," adds Mariano.

IOM launched the first Human Trafficking Awareness Week in South
Africa in 2006 in collaboration with the local NGO,
Diasporific.  At that time, little was known about human
trafficking in the country, and the campaign was undertaken to
highlight the issue of trafficking in persons (TIP), as well as to
build government capacity to address this issue. Since the first
HTAW, involvement by local NGOs and other counter trafficking
partners has grown significantly. Today, HTAW has become an annual
event led by the government with strong participation from diverse
governmental departments.

HTAW activities are supported by funding from the European
Union, the US State Department Bureau of Population, Refugees and
Migration, and the Norwegian Embassy.

Information on the Government of South Africa's
counter-trafficking programme can be seen at: "paragraph-link-no-underline" href=
"http://www.tsireledzani.gov.za/" target="_blank" title=
"">http://www.tsireledzani.gov.za/.

For more information, please contact:

Puseletso Mompei

IOM Pretoria

Tel: +27 12 342 2789 / 071 689 9966

E-mail: "mailto:pmompei@iom.int">pmompei@iom.int